The Different Retainer Options

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

Over the course of multiple adjustment sessions your teeth have been pulled into a healthy and more visually appealing alignment. Now the time has come for your braces to be removed. Of course braces are only one step in the process of providing and maintaining the ideal alignment of your teeth.

The next step in the alignment process is called retention, which involves wearing a retainer during prescribed times. Without the use of a retainer the residual tension in your periodontal ligaments can pull your teeth out of their new alignment.

There are three different types of retainers. Your orthodontist will recommend which one is right for you.

The most common type of retainer is known as a Hawley. This is essentially a thin, tongue-shaped piece of acrylic, custom fit to the shape of your mouth. It’s anchored in place by a set of wires that interlock with specific teeth in your mouth.

Clear plastic retainers are more common for people only wore braces for a short period of time and only required minor realignment. These retainers are made from a durable plastic material molded to your teeth in the new bite pattern. They are very similar to clean plastic aligner brands like Invisalign.

Fixed retainer are often reserved for individuals that required a great deal of adjustment. This is even more likely if you had significant alignment issues in your lower teeth. This style of retainer is a durable wire retainer that is cemented in place behind your teeth. Interdental brushes and dental water jets are handy tools for cleaning around these retainers.

If you are going to have braces removed and you have questions about what type of retainer is right for you please call us at 505-325-8858 to schedule an appointment.

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